Johnson & Johnson Pledges To Purge Controversial Chemicals

Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 02:16 pm
Johnson & Johnson Pledges To Purge Controversial Chemicals
by Scott Hensley - NPR
August 15, 2012

No more tears, and no more quaternium-15 for Johnson's Baby Shampoo.

Under pressure from consumer groups, Johnson & Johnson has decided to curb or eliminate a slew of ingredients from its beauty and baby care products.

The company says all the chemicals — including some preservatives and trace byproducts — are safe in the concentrations found in the products. Nevertheless, the company acknowledges that some people remain concerned about the risks.

In a blog post announcing the change, J&J's Susan Nettesheim, a vice president who oversees product integrity and toxicology, writes:

"Over the past few years, some interest groups have raised questions about the ingredients in personal care products used widely around the world, and they've put particular focus on our baby products. At first we were disappointed, because we know that all our products are safe by scientific standards and meet or exceed government regulations. Over time, though, we've come to realize that sometimes safety alone isn't enough."

The affected products are generally regulated as cosmetics, and range from baby shampoos to skin creams. J&J says it will make the same commitment for its sunscreens and acne remedies, which are regulated as over-the-counter medicines. Besides its iconic baby products, Johnson & Johnson also makes the popular Aveeno, Lubriderm, Neutrogena and RoC skin care lines.

The chemicals involved range from triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient, to some that release small amounts of formaldehyde, such as the preservative quaternium-15.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a consortium of consumer groups, that pushed for the change praised the company's response. "This is a major victory for public health," Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund, said in a statement. "We applaud Johnson & Johnson for its leadership in committing to remove cancer-causing chemicals from its products. We will be vigilant in making sure it meets its commitments and will continue to encourage it to remove other ingredients of concern."

Last year, J&J told the CSC it would remove formaldehyde-releasing ingredients from baby products. It also said it had already removed phthalates, potentially hazardous chemicals already banned in toys, from products for babies.

Earlier this year, the same group hammered on companies that make lipstick containing lead.

In an email to Shots, a J&J spokeswoman said many of the changes have already been made. All of the affected ingredients will be phased out or reduced to lower levels by 2015.

For more on the changes at J&J, there's a website explaining things. And the chart below summarizes the company's plans for the chemicals involved.
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 02:19 pm
Our Safety & Care Commitment

Ingredient Policies
Formaldehyde Releasers
Other Materials
1,4 Dioxane

Ingredient Policies

Ingredient PoliciesAll of our products worldwide and their ingredients meet the rigorous scientific standards of our five-level safety assurance process. They also meet or exceed government standards in the countries where they are sold, as well as U.S. and E.U. cosmetic ingredient safety guidelines, or whichever is stricter when they differ. If new scientific evidence raises legitimate questions about whether an ingredient is safe, we will innovate to find alternatives and, if necessary, we will reduce it or remove it from our products.

But that’s just where we start. We are committed both to the science of safety and to the art of creating products that are gentle on people and the environment. Like you, we have a healthy skepticism when it comes to the use of any chemicals – whether found in nature or made in a factory.

Every one of our products on the market today is safe when used as directed. But Our Safety & Care Commitment takes us beyond safety alone, to meet your highest expectations of us. If consumers raise concerns about an ingredient, even if that ingredient meets government safety regulations and is supported by science, we’ll always listen. In order to protect your peace of mind, we’ll often set a goal of reducing or eliminating that ingredient, and developing new alternatives through our continuous research and development efforts.

Remember, every time we change a formulation – and we have thousands of formulas around the world – we need to take it through our five-level safety assurance process to ensure that it meets or exceeds government standards and the high standards we expect of ourselves. After all, if we decide to eliminate an ingredient, we have to ensure that its replacement is also safe. This takes time, well over a year for each new formula. That’s why moving beyond safety is a journey, and it’s a journey we hope you will take with us.

The Ingredient Policies pages on this website are a roadmap for our journey. In them, you’ll find information about how we currently use ingredients and our plans for the future. You’ll see that in some cases we’ve made commitments to eliminate certain ingredients or reduce their levels. Because we apply the same rigorous safety standards in all countries where we operate, you can be confident that every policy you see here will be applied to the products you use, no matter where in the world you live.

You have our commitment to tell you about progress on our journey. As we develop new policies to meet evolving science, changing government regulations and your needs, we’ll let you know about it right here on this website.

Click on the links below to read more about specific ingredient policies:

Other materials


We use preservatives in our products to protect you from potentially harmful mold and bacteria that could develop in personal care products if they were not preserved.

Preservatives maintain freshness and quality long after you take our products home. Many preservatives in use today are found in nature. Parabens, for example, are found in blueberries – it’s nature’s way of preventing spoilage in fruits and vegetables. Others are specially created in the laboratory to be both mild and effective. Still, preservatives need to be chosen with great care. Some of the same properties that make preservatives effective in killing harmful bacteria can also give them the potential to be harsh on people, which is where our expert formulators and other scientists come in. Our scientists ensure that the preservatives we use have been thoroughly evaluated for safety, are mild, and that we use the minimum amounts necessary to protect the product from spoiling. This is part of Our Safety & Care Commitment to you.

No one preservative is right for every product. Because products differ in how they are used, and in chemical properties such as their pH balance, different preservatives are needed for different product formulations. That’s an important reason to have a variety of preservatives available.

Our Position on Preservatives

There are many factors that guide our selection of preservatives for our formulations. Will the product be used on babies or adults? Will it be washed off, or remain on the skin? How does the preservative work in combination with other ingredients?

Our goal is to use the smallest quantities possible to deliver the safety and effectiveness you expect. These quantities are often far below the limits set by regulators, and always meet government guidelines for safety. But we know safety alone is not enough.

We also evaluate any preservatives we use for mildness and the potential to cause allergies. And as part of our in-use testing process, we consider how you might use or store the product in your home.

No matter which of our products you choose for you and your family, you have our commitment that it has gone through our five-level safety assurance process and that we’re confident you will have a pleasant experience using it.

Click on the below links to read more about specific preservatives and our position on their use:

Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Other Materials

The way a product feels, smells and looks is an essential part of your experience using it. Does a lotion leave the skin feeling soft, but not greasy? Does a shampoo rinse away easily? Does a sunscreen apply evenly? These are all important factors in designing the right products with the right qualities for you. In the end, all of these characteristics are tied back to specific ingredients that ensure each product is safe and effective.

Complexity of Ingredients

You’ve asked us many questions about our ingredients over the years. One of the concerns we hear most often is about the number of ingredients in personal care products. Another common question is about the complicated names of ingredients.

The reality is that most ingredients, even natural ones, are made of a complex assembly of chemical compounds. For example, an orange peel has over 30 “ingredients” – many with chemical-sounding names like linalyl acetate and methyl anthranilate.

Having a lot of ingredients with complicated-sounding names isn’t bad or harmful. The key is to understand how we source these ingredients and formulate them into our products. And, ultimately, how they work in harmony to increase the safety and the effectiveness of the products you use in your home.

Our Position

The ingredients we use are all thoroughly evaluated during our five-level safety assurance process. We also test each formulation to be confident that the raw materials we’ve selected remain safe and effective when we combine them in a product.

Our Safety & Care Commitment includes ongoing reviews of the latest available science about the ingredients used in personal care products, including byproducts and trace materials. As scientists, we always look ahead. New science is always emerging, and concern can grow around a particular ingredient based on new information. If emerging evidence raises legitimate safety concerns about an ingredient, we will reduce it or remove it from our products.

Sometimes, concerns come to public attention based on speculation or questionable science, which still might make people uncomfortable with a particular ingredient “just in case.” We listen carefully to these discussions and to what you have to say to us, and often we’ll find ways to reduce or eliminate ingredients of concern, even if it’s not a matter of safety, to help ensure your peace of mind.

Whenever we change a product formulation, rest assured that we will put it through our rigorous five-level safety assurance process to ensure that the new formula is safe. This includes a thorough evaluation of any new raw ingredients, toxicology studies, clinical evaluations, in-use trials and ongoing assessment after it goes to market. It takes time to meet our high standards for safety and quality. And yours.

Click on the links below to read more about our policies on specific trace materials and ingredients:

1,4 Dioxane

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Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2013 04:59 am
J&J will have to do their best for make chemical free baby products. And if it not happens then their company will suffer from great loss in the industry....
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